Melbourne energy tech startup teams up with federal government to launch “world first” digital marketplace
Tuesday, February 28, 2017/
Melbourne energy tech startup Greensync has teamed up with the federal government’s agency for renewable energy to launch a digital marketplace that will allow everyday solar energy consumers to connect and trade their assets in a power grid.
The Decentralised Energy Exchange, nicknamed “deX”, is a co-funded $930,200 project, which came about through a workshop with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). With $450,000 in funding support from ARENA, GreenSync developed the marketplace using open-source software.
It also has the support of utility companies, retailers, government, regulators and tech companies, says GreenSync founder Dr Phil Blythe.
“That’s allowed us to establish a proper marketplace … the market requires everyone to participate,” Blythe tells StartupSmart.
Anyone from small businesses to residential homeowners with solar energy panels on their roofs can connect their assets into the grid and earn payment for contributing to connectivity and preventing things like blackouts, Blythe says.
“This is really the fist major shift in architecture of our energy system away from the centralised system,” he says.
“We’ll no longer have one marketplace as the centre of the network, we’ll have hundreds.”
GreenSync, which recently closed $11.5 million in Series B funding, aims to develop innovative solutions to maximise renewable sources and battery storage systems that can be integrated into central power grids.
As the consumption of solar energy increases, Blythe says Australia is well-placed to be a pioneer in the global market.
“This is an evolution,” he says.
“This is probably the first comprehensive response in terms of a technology platform that will allow markets to be created and operated by different service providers around the world.
“It’s meeting a need we’re seeing in Australia and it’s cropping up in places like Germany [and] California.
“Over the next ten years, we’re going to see this trend happen right around the world.”
ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht echoes this sentiment, claiming the launch of the deX marketplace is a “world-first trial”.
“To smoothly transition to a renewable energy future, we need new technologies and markets,” Frischknecht said in a statement.
“Australia has world-leading levels of rooftop solar, however, there’s currently no marketplace for consumers to access the full value of these systems … This could encourage more investment in solar and batteries, supporting the grid, reducing the need for infrastructure investment and ultimately reducing the cost of renewables in Australia,” he said.
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